Who Was Asher In The Bible

Asher was the fourth son of Jacob, and one of the twelve sons of Israel’s forefather. He was the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and had a significant role in early Israelite history. He is mentioned in chapter 36 of the Book of Genesis, as well as Numbers 26:45; 35:27;Joshua 19:24,51; 1Chronicles 7:30, and also in the deuterocanonical book 2 Maccabees 1:33. Here are five facts and points to read on who was Asher in the bible.

Asher was the eighth son of Jacob and Leah. He was the great-grandfather of King Saul (1 Samuel 9:1; 10:23; 15:17; 26:4). The Bible does not say when Asher died or how old he was when he died.

Asher was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and Leah. He was the eighth son and was born when his mother was in her forties. The Book of Genesis does not give us many details about the life of Asher. All it really tells us is that he was not one of the major characters in the Bible.

Asher made his way through the desert, the path illuminated by glowing rocks. He didn’t know it at the time but his was a journey of miles and years, from the departure from Egypt to this night in the desert. In life, we all walk a road similar to Asher’s journey. The path isn’t always smooth. Things don’t always go as planned. There are twists and turns that we never see coming – boulders strewn across our pathway from unseen enemies well beyond our path.

Who Was Asher In The Bible

Asher was the son of Jacob and Zilpah. He was the founder of the Tribe of Asher. Scripture tells that Leah felt that she could no longer conceive and give Jacob any more children. Leah made the decision to give her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob, so he would be able to have more children. What a choice! Was Leah heartbroken as she made that choice? Would she become jealous of any children Jacob and Zilpah conceived? How did Leah interact with the children Jacob had with another woman?

Scripture shares that later Leah became pregnant again. She thought her childbearing time was over, but God had other plans. Jacob had numerous children by Leah and Zilpah. Jacob was the father of sons, and also, a daughter named Dinah. Jacob and Zilpah had a son whom they named Gad. Asher was their second son. They named him Asher because Leah said the women would call her happy. (Genesis 30:13 NIV)

The name Asher means “happy” or “blessed.” Scripture doesn’t tell us if Asher was a pleasant child or a troublesome child. With his name meaning “happy”, he may have been an easy going child. Our names don’t always fit with our personalities. However, we do learn in the Bible that Asher was known for his wisdom. Before Jacob died, he gave blessings to each of his twelve sons, with varying meanings.

What Is Asher Known for in the Bible?

Among the many children of Jacob, there was one son named Joseph. He was Joseph’s favorite son. (Genesis 33:2 NIV). Joseph often helped shepherd the flocks with his brothers. There were twelve sons. Their names were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Dinah was the daughter.

The Bible tells that Moses said Asher would be the most blessed of the sons and favored by his brothers. (Deuteronomy 33:24-25 NIV). Yet, there was conflict between the brothers and Joseph. Joseph had made negative comments about his brothers. (Genesis 37:1-11 NIV) The statements caused friction and turmoil between the brothers. Have you had an argument with a sibling? Were you able to work things out in a positive way?

Who Was Asher In The Bible

Asher was the eighth son of Jacob, and his name means “Blessed” or “Happy.” Asher’s mother was Leah’s servant, Zilpah. According to the laws at the time regarding children born of servants, Asher would have been seen as Leah’s son rather than Zilpah’s. Asher had a total of eleven brothers, including a full brother by Zilpah; two half-brothers from Jacob’s other wife, Rachel; two half-brothers from Rachel’s servant, Bilhah; and six half-brothers from Leah. He also had a sister named Dinah. Each of Jacob’s sons, including Asher, would become the head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. As God had promised to Asher’s great-grandfather, Abraham, He was making Abraham’s descendants into a great nation (Genesis 12:22).

The Bible does not say much about Asher as an individual. It does, however, describe the jealousy and anger Asher and his brothers had toward their brother Joseph due to Jacob’s preferential treatment of him (Genesis 37:3–4). This favoritism, coupled Joseph’s description of the dreams he had in which his brothers were bowing down to him, caused the brothers to develop an extreme hatred of him (verses 5–11). Asher and his brothers ended up selling Joseph to some merchants, who in turn sold him as a slave in Egypt (verse 28). Joseph served there for several years, but God raised him to second-in-command of all Egypt (Genesis 41:39–41). As Joseph had interpreted a dream had by the king that warned of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of great famine, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of collecting food during the seven good years and storing it for the seven bad years (verses 48–49). When the famine began, Joseph’s brothers came to buy food from Egypt, eventually discovering that the man they were dealing with was their brother. They were grieved over what they had done to Joseph, and soon after the reunion Jacob and the rest of his family were brought to live in Egypt.

Just before Jacob died, he blessed each of his sons. The blessing for Asher was as follows: “Asher’s food will be rich; / he will provide delicacies fit for a king” (Genesis 49:20). In essence, Jacob was blessing Asher and his descendants with a promise that they would gain good food and riches. Later, Moses also blessed Asher’s descendants: “Most blessed of sons is Asher; / let him be favored by his brothers, / and let him bathe his feet in oil. / The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, / and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:24–25).

Genesis 46:17 notes that Asher had four sons (Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah) and one daughter (Serah). His tribe would eventually grow into six clans and, after the exodus from Egypt, was quite large. The Bible says that, at one point during the Israelites’ journey to Canaan, Asher’s tribe had 41,500 fighting men (Numbers 1:41).

Asher’s tribe inherited land in Canaan along the coast, from the city of Sidon in the north to Mt. Carmel in the south. True to the blessings that Asher had received, the tribe possessed territory containing some of the richest soil in all of Canaan. Asher produced much grain, wine, oil, and minerals.

Asher’s descendants endured as God had promised Abraham, and his tribe is mentioned often throughout the Bible. One of Asher’s descendants, a prophetess named Anna, was blessed to meet the baby Jesus just days after His birth (Luke 2:36). And one day, during the tribulation that will occur after Jesus returns for believers, a remnant of the nation of Israel will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, including 12,000 sealed from the tribe of Asher (Revelation 7:6).

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